Anthony Nak had 13 pieces of a nearly extinct stone from Tanzania, Africa, stolen out of a car in Austin, Texas, during the weekend of June 10, the jewelry design house said in a statement. Ten pieces were recovered at an Austin pawn shop.
The pieces are part of a special collection of Tanzanite, platinum, and gold jewelry designed by Anthony Nak in collaboration with the Tanzanite Foundation, where a portion of the proceeds go to help the people of Tanzania build 2 schools, a medical center, and community center, the provision of fresh water supply and the development of environmental rehabilitation projects.
“This was particularly devastating to us because we are using this collection to raise awareness to tanzanite and the Tanzanite Foundation’s initiatives,” Anthony Camargo, cofounder of Anthony Nak, said in the statement. “We were relieved when most of it was recovered.” The jewelry is worth in excess of $275,000. Camargo and partner Nak Armstrong are visiting Tanzania this summer to see how they are helping the community where the tanzanite is mined.
The Tanzanite Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of ethically acquired tanzanite. Tanzanite, a precious blue-violet gemstone 1,000 times rarer than diamonds is found only in one place on earth, at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa.